Online ads are everywhere, with nearly half (48%) of consumers saying that they feel they are affected by advertising on a day-to-day basis, according to a new study from digital marketing agency Accenture Interactive.
Two-thirds of the respondents to this latest Accenture Interactive survey — which surveyed more than 1,000 consumers about their content preferences, habits and needs — said they engage with video content for entertainment.
For advertisers, it is not a question of “if you are ready” any longer but rather “how you will generate the most powerful content?” the study states. Businesses will connect with consumers if they focus on developing strategic video content to educate, show authenticity and build consumer relationships.
However, most companies are not currently equipped to produce high-quality video content at the volume demanded by online viewers, according to the report.
"The concept of 'agency' — meaning the ability to exert one's power over things — provides a real key to the puzzle," says Donna Tuths, global digital content lead, Accenture Interactive. "The power to choose is critical. When you provide various content options – like video, social, mobile — you substantially increase engagement and response — and by leveraging video capabilities in this equation you have the potential to outperform your competition."
There’s plenty of white noise out there. Successful companies must learn to cut through it to develop compelling and useful content, says Accenture. The majority of people find advertising invasive (53%), as opposed to 26% who find it convenient. If advertising is to be made more palatable, video advertising needs to be highly targeted and relevant to audience needs.
Consumers crave quality, stimulating content. Half (54%) are drawn to brands that offer innovative technologies and 49% like it when brands inject humor into their campaigns.
The value of content isn’t diminished by sponsorship if it’s high quality, so going the extra mile to create unique, clever campaigns (whether it’s a video or other branded content) can go a long way, the report surmises.
One in three consumers (35%) would register with a brand and share basic information in exchange for compelling content. More than half (54%) believe value isn't diminished even if a video is sponsored by a brand.
However, consumers want to be given a choice when it comes to video ads. One in four (26%) would most likely click on an interactive ad if it allowed them to choose between two videos based on their interests. A further 19% would be most likely to click on a short video ad that plays after they view another piece of content.
Consumers look to the internet when researching new products, services or ideas, and this survey shows that they find video content most useful for this purpose. A majority (58%) would be more likely to engage with a brand that uses video as a main channel for how-tos, followed by product demos (46%) and insider exclusives (28%).
Similarly, in a professional setting, videos can be used to help train new employees or enhance the skills of team members.
The most successful companies will be as fully enabled to create and distribute video as they are with any other type of content, and will strategically distribute both consumer facing and internal content via video.
"We are looking at a real pivot point," says Tuths. "The data on branded content clearly shows that the insatiable hunger for engaging content now means that high-quality content will draw an audience, even when it is branded. This is a real shift — a final blurring of the line between branded content and native advertising, where the future of content marketing will reach its potential for marketers."
Most consumers have yet to use virtual reality in their personal or professional lives, with only 14% of respondents saying they had used virtual reality in the past. However, consumers believe there is major potential for virtual reality to transform their day-to-day experiences: 36% of respondents said they see virtual reality as useful for educational purposes, such as virtual classrooms.
Despite years of consumers showing the opposite, we are supposed to believe this research?
Consumers are not showing by action that content matters this much to them - they are overwhelmed by it. And very often the content they can't find, but want, has no economic advantage (e.g. Profit) that could cause it to be created.
And here's the real rub: consumers do want good content - that doesn't pitch them, underestimate their intelligence, doesn't get lost in ad agency BS, etc... But that kind of content isn't forthcoming from the agency business any time soon - because it requires incredibly in-depth understanding of the consumer, their needs, and their situation along with all the language they use within their lives and world. And it requires that agencies become honest with ourselves about how much we live in a bubble that prevents really knowing all that and communicating genuinely. (The huge hype about "authenticity" turned out just to be another way agencies proudly relabelled inauthentic communication.)